Saturday, November 15, 2014

Something to Know - 15 November

Mike Luckovich

Democrats are searching deeply into the reasons for such a big reversal of fortune this last mid-term election.  I have an idea, and that is that the electorate (even greater than the 30% of the registered voters - who are 50% of eligible voters) has been affected by the Republican mantra that "government is not the solution ; it is the problem".   Well it is not, and we have to enlighten those who believe that.   Government is the process by which a collective group organizes to achieve goals that an individual citizen cannot do.   In our economic market system of quasi-social-capitalism, protections through regulation become public policy when the system gets out of hand.   Take this article from today's LA Times.  While you read it, take heed that it is a government agency at the Federal level, as well as the state level, working to help correct the workings of unscrupulous business practices in the garment industry.   Are these revelations, new?  Oh, hell no.  They have been going on for hundreds of years.   This is nothing new.   However, who is it that is tasked with preventing wage theft and abuses to the workers?   Republicans would like no regulations in place.  "Government intrusion prevents creativity, and hurts the system" is what we usually hear.   We could spend hours and days pointing out where the Republicans really are not helping things be better.   If I had to add one more relevant thought to this article, it is that the interests of the business of employers who utilize immigrant workers are best served if the workers remain "illegal", undocumented, or in the shadows, because the abuses and intimidation are tolerated to prevent deportation and the splitting up of families.   The garment industry is not unique.   The intensive labor required for the needs of agriculture and meat packing, and your Thanksgiving Day turkey for example, are two of many other businesses here and abroad.   If "Government" does not work to clean this up, who does?   An Upton Sinclair only comes about every once in a while (think Ralph Nader, etc), and with the dwindling heft of journalism in the newspapers, who can we rely on protecting us from the under-belly of Capitalism's greed?   The government, to which we elect and appoint officials, is the engine of our Democracy.    We need to make sure that everyone in this country knows and appreciates that concept and truism:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
-- Upton Sinclair

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